Sometimes it seems impossible to start writing. Your brain is too stuffed with thoughts about work, family, money, health – it feels like there’s no way to get into writing gear. If you’re struggling with this, why not try “hacking” your brain?
It might take a bit of time, but by following the same routine every time you write, you can subconsciously get your mind into writing mode. Here’s some key elements to build in.
Choose a time
Getting down to write at same time every day is a strong indicator of purpose to your brain. And if you can’t do every day then try to stick to the same time. Even better, create a schedule and weave your writing time into your life.
Make a drink
You can choose any beverage you like – tea, coffee, soft drink, probably not alcohol. Always use the same glass or mug, and rustle up your drink in the same way every time. This step has the bonus of keeping you hydrated too, so you don’t need to stop for a supping break, potentially breaking your flow.
Control your environment
Sitting still can make you cold so have a blanket or jumper to hand. I often wear fingerless gloves as my digits get frosty. Or if you’re liable to get warm, make sure to open a window or invest in a fan. And don’t forget the sounds around you. You’ll know how you work best. Some people like music, others talk radio on low or maybe just silence. Whatever your choose, noise-cancelling headphones can be an ideal way to really immerse yourself in your world.
Begin at the beginning
Some people ease into writing by doing something less write-y to start with. This might be updating social media, working on a blog post or other short exercise before getting into their WiP. Or you could start by re-reading where you left off the last time your wrote. Alternatively, you might just want jump straight in. Go with what works for you – just be wary of procrastinating too much.
Stick to the same spot (mostly)
So I’m being deliberately contradictory here, but bare with me. Sitting in the same place, same desk, same room and so on is another strong way of telling you subconscious “we’re writing now”. BUT – if you’re struggling to get inspired, then it can help to move around. So your positioning may depend on how your writing is going.
Know when to call it a day
If you’re riding a bodacious writing wave, you may want to keep surfing till the end. But there’s an alternative train of thought that says it’s good to stop knowing what will happen next – mid sentence even. So the next time you write, you can start without needing much creative thought and therefore slip more easily back into it. And setting yourself a time to finish when you start can help to take the pressure off.
So what do you think? Do you have any writing hacks? Please share in the comments.